I have officially lost myself — plus a little bit more. That teeter-totter from last week has flipped to the other side!

I thought about actually posting a full progress picture with before/after, full body, but I’m so close to a maintenance point (relatively speaking) that I’ve decided to hold off that extra few pounds. Because, in the long run, we’re talking about time.

When I first started this particular journey over 5 years ago, my days were often filled with the yearning to rush to the end and instantly be 200+ pounds lighter. I know I’m not alone; how many of us would love the chance to wake up tomorrow with the bodies we really wanted all of these years?

I’ve lost the equivalent of this 5’11”, 188-lb fighter. Whew!

I have since changed my mind about that. I have needed to take my time and learn, appreciate each day as it comes, and understand how I fit into this refreshed life. Impatience does nothing but rob us of learning opportunities and joy.

There is so much I would have missed, had I just jumped years forward — so much worth treasuring and enjoying. My life didn’t suddenly stop just because I gained weight, and it has been worth the living, overweight or not. We should never be under the impression that weight loss somehow makes us happier; it’s not the act of losing, itself, that generates happiness. It’s up to each of us to find that on our own.

While I’ve been watching the scale and my measurements go down, I’ve also been learning how much those numbers do not define me. I am not magically happier and living a better life because I’ve lost weight; rather, weight loss has been a byproduct of becoming mentally and physically healthier. The act of creating a stronger Me is what makes me happy.

371-Pound Me would have argued that I’d been through enough pain; please just give me the end product. But 183-Pound Me knows damned well that there were hard lessons to learn along the way, and there are yet lessons to learn. Skipping them would have just propelled me back to where I started, much like a bungee cord snapping back to the beginning.

I’m not done, yet, learning about myself. Finding out who I am in this body, in this time, in my life. Each moment comes as a surprise to be unwrapped with relish — and appreciation, even if the moment is a difficult one. Time is a precious commodity, and to waste it away in hopes of something better, instead of valuing each day for its worth, is a mistake.

All of us have the power to use these moments to become better versions of ourselves and to never stop learning.


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